Holton Lee through the ages – 500 years ago

How Holton Lee may have looked 500 years ago

Most of the environment at Holton Lee has changed little over the centuries, creating a rare gem – virtually a fossilised medieval landscape.

Early settlers


Early Trade:


Holton, as this place was originally called, probably started as a Saxon farm (Anglo Saxon: Hollow Tun – ‘the homestead in the hollow’).

By 1086 the Domesday Book shows it was owned by a Norman lord, William de Braose, who fought alongside William the Conqueror.

In 1592, documents tell us that the site and its ‘mansion house’ were sold for £320.

Throughout the 1600s, the estate was leased to several farmers who worked together as a community.

The farm’s location alongside Poole Harbour allowed income to be supplemented seasonally from a range of industries including cockle fishing, salt making, growing willow for baskets and thatching, pottery and brick making, sand and gravel for building, coppicing wood for use around the farm, button making, and gorse and turf cutting for animal feed and fuel.

In the 1890s, Sir Elliott Lees, MP for Birkenhead bought Holton and land in Lytchett Minster, making his family home there. Cattle farming continued until the 1960s

The Farmhouse:

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